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8.1 HO

The 8.1 HO inboard boasts 420 big-boat-moving horsepower. Fitted with our most sophisticated Multiport Injection (MPI) and ignition system, the 8.1 HO is the pinnacle of gas inboards. Like all MerCruiser inboards, the 8.1 HO is available with a large variety of popular transmissions to fit virtually any application. Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) is available and is mated to a direct-acting electric shift transmission. DTS eliminates cable maintenance and provides consistent and precise throttle and shift control, and never requires any adjustment. DTS can automatically synchronize multiple engines, provides shift protection and provides SmartStart digital starting. DTS also features Transmission Guardian to automatically protect against damage from overheating or low fluid levels.


8.1 HO

  • PCM 555 sequential fuel injection and high energy distributorless ignition system ensure reliable starts and outstanding performance, year after year
  • Exclusive Engine Guardian protection senses potential problems and virtually eliminates the chance for engine damage due to overheating, low oil pressure, low seawater pressure, engine over-speed or poor fuel quality.
  • Cartridge-type water-separating fuel filter helps protect fuel system and engine against damage
  • Industry-exclusive 3-year limited corrosion failure warranty
  • High-mount starter and aluminum oil pan are protected from salt water for years of reliable operation
  • Cast iron exhaust manifolds and 316 stainless steel elbows better resist high temperature and corrosion and improve exhaust flow for more power
  • Brass sea water pump housing improves life and better resists damage from running dry
  • Long individual runner intake manifold design provides optimum torque and horsepower for demanding marine applications
  • Tuned runner exhaust manifold lowers exhaust backpressure for best torque and power
  • Sequential fuel and spark control maximizes performance from every engine cylinder
  • High energy distributorless ignition with knock control maximizes power and protects against low quality fuels
  • Low restriction flame arrestor for added horsepower and torque
  • Variety of available high quality hydraulic transmissions and gear ratios allow boat manufacturers to precisely match hull characteristics and boat weight to optimize performance
Easy Ownership
  • 3-year/300 hour maintenance interval on many periodic service items saves time and money
  • Convenient remote oil filter location makes oil changes cleaner and makes periodic service simple and less work
  • Color-coded service points makes checking fluid levels simple and straightforward
  • Operates on easy to find, less expensive 87 octane fuel
  • Long-life anti-freeze only requires replacement every 5 years
  • Single point air-actuated water drain system standard
  • Dual dipsticks for easy service access
  • Optional DTS provides unparalleled control system technology to ensure years of maintenance-free and reliable shifts and silky-smooth throttle control. Automatic engine synchronization, electric shift control and running start protection make this option a must for larger yachts
  • Exclusive Transmission Guardian monitors temperature and clutch pack pressure and protects transmission from damage due to overheating or clutch slippage due to low hydraulic fluid pressure (DTS Only)
  • Large 65 Amp alternator provides plenty of power for popular onboard electronics
  • 8.1S and 8.1 HO engines are designed to display engine information on your choice of analog or SmartCraft digitally-driven gauges and displays